Volunteering to be a governor

Governors make an invaluable contribution to the development of excellence in colleges. As a member of the governing board, governors set the mission and strategic direction of the college, and scrutinise its performance. Governors are volunteers. Becoming a governor provides many opportunities to contribute to your local community and is an excellent way of developing strategic leadership skills.

If you are uncertain of what would be expected of you, please see our FAQs for a better understanding of what your role would be and the support you can expect to receive. Our induction materials for new govenors go into the role of governor in more detail and prepare you for the role.

If you wish to volunteer to become a governor, you could approach a college directly to see if they have any opportunities. Alternatively, you may wish to apply through SGOSS or Inspiring FE Governance.

SGOSS has many years’ experience of recruiting governors. SGOSS will review each application made through its site and then seek to identify colleges where the applicant’s skills and experience most closely match vacancies on the board. They will also provide support to both applicants and colleges throughout the period of mutual consideration.

Inspiring FE Governance is a free service dedicated to finding individuals with the right skills to serve on FE Boards in England, including chairs of finance committees. Board members are committed volunteers who have a similar role to company non-executive directors. The service is funded by the Education and Training Foundation and run by Educations and Employers, an independent Charity. 

Student governors

If you are a studying at a college there may be an opportunity to become a student governor.  Student governors have the same responsibilities as other governors, but they are usually nominated by the students at the college to represent them on the governing body.  If you would be interested in becoming a student governor you could ask your college about any vacancies and what the process is for becoming a governor.  You can also talk to your Students’ Union, and the National Union of Students (NUS) can support you once you are appointed.

Staff governors

If you are employed by a college there may be an opportunity to become a staff governor. Staff governors are members of the corporation board who represent their colleagues in the governance of the college.  If you would be interested in becoming a staff governor you could ask your college about any vacancies and what the process is for becoming a governor.  You could also discuss this with a union representative. The University and College Union website provides further information about becoming a governor.